For How Long Is Latex Paint Good?

Latex paint is a very versatile product used for many projects. Homeowners prefer latex paint because of its ease of use. Latex paint cleans up easily with water. There is usually paint left over a project is complete and it usually ends up in the garage.

It is best to keep the extra paint for touch ups and so you can get a good color match if you need more paint.


Latex paint is made with a rubberized binder mixed with water and other chemicals. This binder allows the paint to adhere to a large variety of materials.The rubberized binder also allows the paint to be flexible while providing protection from moisture. Latex paints are used in major industries as well as in the home.

Chemical Makeup

Latex paints contain chemicals to prohibit the growth of mold, mildew and bacterias. The chemicals are referred to as biocides and mildewcides. There are soap products known as surfactants that keep the paint from separating and to also maintain the thickness of the paint. Other components are solvents that assist the binders in forming a good, even cover.


There are several factors that dictate just how long latex paint will last in a container after it has been opened. Latex paint is typically purchased in quarts cans, gallon pails and 5-gallon buckets. Keep the lids as clean as possiblebecause paint containers will seal tightly with clean lids. Paint containers that are not properly closed will expose the paint to air. Air will cause your paint to start drying from the top down until it becomes completely solid.


Paint will last longer if you store it in a room that does not get colder than 50 degrees. It is best if you do not allow paint to freeze, but latex paint can go through a freezing and thawing cycle a few times before it can no longer be used. If the paint is frozen too long it will not mix; it will be thick and lumpy.


Latex paints can last up to two years after is has been opened. Your paint can last even longer if it is has been well sealed. Use cellophane or plastic wrap to help preserve your paint. Place a piece of cellophane directly on top of the paint; place another piece of cellophane on top of the container before replacing the lid. This procedure works for all paint containers. The plastic will help keep air from reaching the paint.